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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBUS
J ULY 2017
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P RO T E C T W H AT M AT T E R S M O S T Y O U R L I F E . Y O U R FA M I LY. Y O U R F U T U R E .
Find an agent at kofc.org or call 1-800-345-5632 LIFE INSURANCE
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU M BU S j u ly 2 0 1 7 ♦ V o l u m e 9 7 ♦ N u m b e r 7
F E AT U R E S
Caseys at the Bat Major league Knights delivered the national pastime to American doughboys “over there” during World War I. BY JIM LEEKE
12 ‘Grant Us Peace’ Order and U.S. Military Archdiocese co-sponsor annual pilgrimage of wounded warriors to Lourdes. BY COLUMBIA STAFF
14 A Revolution of Conscience The Knights of Columbus in Poland promote Emmywinning documentary about John Paul II’s role in the fall of communism. BY TOMASZ ADAMSKI
18 Christian Truth in a Democratic World An interview with Prof. Ryszard Legutko about reconciling faith and politics in the secular West. BY ALTON J. PELOWSKI
22 Brothers in the Faith State officers of Utah share why they joined the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. BY MARIE MISCHEL
Marine Sgt. Buster Miscusi, a member of Msgr. David M. Stotenbur Council 7237 in DeWitt, Mich., is pushed in a wheelchair by his wife, Monique, during the 2017 Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus (see story on page 12).
D E PA RT M E N T S 3
Building a better world
In a spirit of solidarity, leaders express gratitude to God and work to protect the religious liberty of all. BY SUPREME KNIGHT CARL A. ANDERSON
Knights of Columbus News Order Mourns Passing of Bishop Daily, Former Supreme Chaplain • Knights in Canada, Mexico March for Life
21 Christians at Risk As the Order continues to aid genocide victims, U.S. House offers support with bipartisan legislation.
26 Knights in Action
Photo by Tamino Petelinsek
Learning the faith, living the faith It is sometimes easy to overlook the scope of our Order’s charitable support throughout the world.
Fathers for Good Starting a family in my early 20s has filled my life with joy and blessings. BY TIMOTHY KENNEY
BY SUPREME CHAPLAIN ARCHBISHOP WILLIAM E. LORI
PLUS: Catholic Man of the Month
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On the Side of Freedom WHEN NAZI GERMANY invaded Poland in September 1939, 19-year-old Karol Wojtyła, a college student in Kraków, was forced into manual labor. His beloved father — his last living family member — died less than two years later. Wojtyła then entered Kraków’s clandestine seminary in 1942, in the face of atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. By the time he was ordained four years later, World War II had ended and the Soviet Army “liberated” Poland, replacing one totalitarian government with another. For the next three decades, Wojtyła fostered a vibrant Christian identity among the people he served as a priest, bishop and cardinal, despite the state’s atheistic ideology. In 1979, he returned to his homeland as Pope John Paul II, sparking a spiritual revolution that led to the eventual collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe (see page 14). In 1991, 18 months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he published an encyclical titled Centesimus Annus. The document marked the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s groundbreaking social encyclical, Rerum Novarum, by developing its key insights and outlining principles regarding human rights and the role of the state. For example, the pope recognized the value of free markets but warned against a “consumer society.” The latter, he wrote, actually “agrees with Marxism, in the sense that it totally reduces man to the sphere of economics and the satisfaction of material needs” (Centesimus Annus, 19). In a similar way, he advocated for political engagement but warned that
politics can become “a ‘secular religion,’ which operates under the illusion of creating paradise in this world” (25). The foundation of any free society, John Paul II argued, is recognition of “the rights of the human conscience” (29). He explained that “in constantly reaffirming the transcendent dignity of the person, the Church’s method is always that of respect for freedom.” In contrast, the modern claim that “there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity” easily leads to tyranny (46). Far from compromising the legitimate autonomy of the state or the freedom of others, the Christian view of the human person affirms that fundamental rights must always be respected. Where does all of this leave us, particularly in our mission as faithful citizens and Knights of Columbus, today? For one thing, it means that we are called to continue our defense of religious freedom — described in Centesimus Annus as “the source and synthesis” of other human rights (47) — whether it is threatened by secularism, totalitarianism or Islamist fundamentalism. In addition, we must remember that political challenges are rooted in cultural challenges. “In order to overcome today’s widespread individualistic mentality,” John Paul II observed, “what is required is a concrete commitment to solidarity and charity, beginning in the family” (49). That is to say, the fight for freedom begins in our own homes and communities, and it begins with charity.♦ ALTON J. PELOWSKI EDITOR
Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism The film Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism (see article on page 14) is currently available on DVD, Netflix and digital platforms including iTunes and Amazon. After airing throughout the United States and Canada, the 90-minute film, produced by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and narrated by Jim Caviezel, received two Chicago/ Midwest Regional Emmy Awards in December 2016. For more information, visit jp2film.com.♦ 2 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
COLUMBIA PUBLISHER Knights of Columbus ________ SUPREME OFFICERS Carl A. Anderson SUPREME KNIGHT Most Rev. William E. Lori, S.T.D. SUPREME CHAPLAIN Patrick E. Kelly DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT Michael J. O’Connor SUPREME SECRETARY Ronald F. Schwarz SUPREME TREASURER John A. Marrella SUPREME ADVOCATE ________ EDITORIAL Alton J. Pelowski EDITOR Andrew J. Matt MANAGING EDITOR Anna M. Bninski ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Venerable Michael McGivney (1852-90) Apostle to the Young, Protector of Christian Family Life and Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Intercede for Us. ________ HOW TO REACH US MAIL COLUMBIA 1 Columbus Plaza New Haven, CT 06510-3326 ADDRESS CHANGES 203-752-4210, option #3 firstname.lastname@example.org PRAYER CARDS & SUPPLIES 203-752-4214 COLUMBIA INQUIRIES 203-752-4398 FAX 203-752-4109 K OF C CUSTOMER SERVICE 1-800-380-9995 E-MAIL email@example.com INTERNET kofc.org/columbia ________ Membership in the Knights of Columbus is open to men 18 years of age or older who are practical (that is, practicing) Catholics in union with the Holy See. This means that an applicant or member accepts the teaching authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, aspires to live in accord with the precepts of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing in the Catholic Church.
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved ________ ON THE COVER Johnny Evers, a Hall of Fame second baseman who served as a K of C secretary in France during World War I, is pictured in 1909.
COVER: Photo courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y.
E D I TO R I A L
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The Prayer of a Nation In a spirit of solidarity, leaders express gratitude to God and work to protect the religious liberty of all by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson ON MAY 4, I had the honor of joining Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. bishops’ conference; members of the Little Sisters of the Poor; and leaders of Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish and other faith communities at a White House Rose Garden ceremony during the National Day of Prayer. The event, at which President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty, began with the singing of the Lord’s Prayer. The spring observance of the National Day of Prayer was established by Congress and proclaimed by President Harry Truman in 1952. While some may dismiss the National Day of Prayer as largely symbolic, and others, like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, may ridicule it, I felt that something very important took place. Religious leaders from around the nation joined together in prayer at the White House with a deep sense of respect for each other’s traditions. Cardinal Wuerl was one of those chosen to lead the gathering in prayer. His words truly captured the atmosphere of unity when he said: “O God, who gave one origin to all peoples and willed to gather from them one family for yourself, fill our hearts, we pray, with the fire of your love and kindle in all of us a desire for the just advancement of our neighbor, that through all good things which you richly bestow upon all, each human person may be brought to perfection, every division may be removed, and
equality and justice be established in human society.” Years ago, Father Patrick Peyton repeatedly reminded us that “the family that prays together, stays together.” Perhaps the same might be said of nations. Approximately six decades ago, the Knights of Columbus led the effort to add the words “under God” to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. The phrase is taken from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. And it was Lincoln who first proclaimed a National Day of Prayer in 1863, stating that “it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow … and to recognize … that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” During the ceremony this past May, the president signed an executive order on religious liberty. Some have criticized the order for not going far enough to establish new, broad protections. But Cardinal DiNardo’s response seems most appropriate. Noting that he had met with the president to discuss these issues shortly before the ceremony, the cardinal stated, “Today’s executive order begins the process of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS mandate. We will engage with the administration to ensure that adequate relief is provided to those with deeply held religious beliefs.” Seeing the president greet the Little Sisters of the Poor and invite them to the podium to stand with him, those in attendance were assured that the
“process of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS mandate” had indeed begun. Just days after the president’s signing of the executive order, I had the privilege of a one-on-one meeting with Vice President Pence to discuss these issues in more detail. It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Recently, the president took two such steps. The first was setting a legal foundation by executive order to protect our free exercise of religion from overreach by federal agencies. The second came in answer to a question from EWTN, whose News Nightly reporters had recently visited Iraq with Knights of Columbus sponsorship. The president stated that he was going to help the Christians of the Middle East. The Knights of Columbus has always been steadfast in our defense of religion freedom at home and abroad. Seeing a new concern for this issue at the highest levels of our country is welcome. Welcome, too, is the fact that Pope Francis and the president agreed to do more to protect religious freedom and religious minorities when they met May 24 in the Vatican. Now is the time for all of us to commit to do more. Vivat Jesus!
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L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H
The Forest and the Trees It is sometimes easy to overlook the scope of our Order’s charitable support throughout the world by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori
SOMETIMES, as the saying goes, we responded, ready to provide comfort, can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s all shelter and assistance. Similarly, I too easy to become so involved in our would see local Knights conducting own projects, plans and points of view fund drives in support of Special that we fail to see the larger picture. The Olympics and those with intellectual Egypt who have been targeted by ISIS. Church is much bigger than our expe- disabilities. The Knights, in fact, support a host rience or knowledge of it. The same is Over the last 13 years as supreme of humanitarian relief efforts throughalso true of the Knights of Columbus. chaplain, my comprehension of the so- out the world. When Typhoon Haiyan Let me offer a personal example. cial and charitable works of the Knights struck the Philippines in 2013, the Since 2012, I have served as arch- of Columbus has expanded. In 2015- local Knights sprang into action. bishop of Baltimore. It is a wonderful 16, I watched as the Order worked with Knights from Cebu City traveled to a archdiocese, the oldest in the United members of the U.S. Congress from devastated area to distribute sacks of States, replete with projects and rice and canned goods, while challenges. It would be very the Supreme Council authoreasy for me to focus merely on ized substantial funds to supone or two areas or initiatives. port humanitarian efforts. The I did not fully appreciate all the In a similar way, it is tempting Order also launched the Liveliways the Knights of Columbus to become so immersed in hood Project to help fishermen, archdiocesan work as to lose farmers and craftsmen, who serves both Church and society. sight of the larger Church. had lost everything in the tyTruth to tell, until I began phoon, get back to work and to serving as supreme chaplain in rebuild their lives. 2005 I did not fully appreciate all the both sides of the aisle and the Obama Similar efforts of humanitarian relief ways the Knights of Columbus serves administration to secure an official dec- have been provided in places like Pakboth Church and society, nationally laration that the persecution of Chris- istan and Kenya. The Order has supand internationally. In a phrase, I saw tians and other religious minorities in ported efforts to assist children with some trees but not the forest. I had the Middle East is in fact genocide. Not AIDS in Uganda, and it has helped to known of the work of my local council, content with that, the Knights of drill wells and provide clean water for and it was that spirit of charity that Columbus has provided millions of dol- residents in Guatemala and Ethiopia. first attracted me to the Knights. But lars to alleviate the sufferings of those my new role opened my eyes to the persecuted. For example, the Order A CULTURE OF LIFE AND LIBERTY depth of the Order’s charitable out- supported a project that offers mental Last year, when Pope Francis visited reach in many parts of the world. health programs in northern Iraq for Ciudad Juárez, just across the U.S.those traumatized at the hands of ISIS. Mexican border from El Paso, Texas, IN TIMES OF NEED It supported housing for refugees who the Knights provided funding to dioWhen I was a young priest serving in fled to Lebanon from Syria and helped ceses on both sides of the border. This Prince George’s County, Md., a devas- to fund a film that will explore the re- papal visit helped to highlight the tating fire struck a family home. Lives sponse of many faiths to the plight of plight of migrants and the determinawere lost, and the house was de- refugees and immigrants. And it has of- tion of the Church in the United States stroyed. I saw how quickly the Knights fered assistance to Coptic Christians in and Mexico to work together to help 4 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
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L E A R N I N G T H E FA I T H , L I V I N G T H E FA I T H
these individuals and families, and to work for just immigration laws. When unprecedented flooding struck Louisiana last year, the Knights provided disaster relief funding to the Diocese of Baton Rouge. In places like Magog, Québec, the Order has helped offer low-cost housing to pregnant women and single mothers in need. After the 2015 racial unrest in Baltimore, the Order, at my request, provided assistance to Catholic inner-city schools that offer the hope of a better life to many in our poorest neighborhoods.
H O LY FAT H E R ’ S P R AY E R I N T E N T I O N
POPE FRANCIS: CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters — BLESSED ANDREW: Photo courtesy of Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation
Offered in Solidarity with Pope Francis LAPSED CHRISTIANS: That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
In addition to its many humanitarian efforts, the Order also supports a variety of ecumenical and interreligious projects, including those that foster dialogue with Islam. Perhaps better known are the efforts of the Knights of Columbus to protect and promote the dignity of unborn human life — such as providing more than 800 ultrasound machines that enable women to see their unborn children in the womb. I am continuously impressed by how the Order responds to the Church’s call to build a culture of life with great respect for both
mother and child. Finally, I would also note with deep gratitude the support of the Knights in helping the efforts of the Church in the United States to preserve and defend the religious liberty both of individuals and religious institutions and ministries. All this is but a sampling of how robustly the Order is living out its Gospel principles of charity, unity and fraternity, bequeathed to us by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. With his help and prayers, let us see both the trees and the forest!♦
C AT H O L I C M A N O F T H E M O N T H
Blessed Andrew of Phú Yên (1625-1644) ANDREW was born in the kingdom of Annam (part of present-day Vietnam) in 1625. His father died when he was an infant, and he was raised as the youngest child of a Christian woman named Joanne. A French Jesuit, Father Alexandre de Rhodes, baptized the entire family, including 15-year-old Andrew, in 1641. Andrew, who possessed keen intelligence yet fragile health, soon became a student of Father de Rhodes. The young man’s spiritual and intellectual life blossomed as he collaborated in the missionary activity of the Jesuits, who often remained in hiding or sought refuge in Christian homes. Within two years, Andrew joined the Maison Dieu (House of God), a community of catechists whose members vowed to serve the Church for life. In 1644, angered by the growing number of converts and the Catholic teaching against polygamy, the king of Annam ordered all priests to be banished and all Christians severely punished. Soldiers apprehended Andrew and had him beaten, bound and brought to the governor’s palace.
On July 25, the king’s envoy attempted to make Andrew give up “that foolish opinion of his” and renounce his faith. In reply, Andrew said that he was willing to suffer anything for his love of Christ, adding, “I wish I had a thousand lives to offer God in thanksgiving for what he has done for me.” The next day, Andrew was sentenced to death. Many followed the procession to the place of execution, nonbelievers and Christians alike, including Father de Rhodes. Serene and joyful, Andrew told them not to be distressed by his death but to pray that he remain faithful to the end. Beheaded by a scimitar, his last word was “Jesus!” Pope John Paul II beatified Andrew of Phú Yên in 2000.♦
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MOST REV. THOMAS V. DAILY, bishop emeritus of Brooklyn, who was supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus for 18 years, died May 15 at age 89. “Bishop Thomas Daily served the Order as supreme chaplain with dedication and joy from 1987-2005 and will be deeply missed,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “I invite all Knights and their families to remember him in their prayers.” Bishop Daily was born Sept. 23, 1927, in Belmont, Mass. Ordained a priest in 1952 for the Archdiocese of Boston and an auxiliary bishop in 1975, he served as the first bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., from 1984-1990. In August 1990, he was installed as the sixth bishop of Brooklyn, where he served until his retirement in August 2003. His father, a past state deputy of Maine, introduced his son to the Order at a young age. In Bishop Daily’s final Columbia column as supreme chaplain, he wrote, “Just as I was brought up in the Catholic faith, I was brought up in the Knights of Columbus. Both ‘educations’ have helped me as a priest and bishop, but also as a Catholic man seeking to draw ever closer to our God.”♦ 6 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
Knights in Canada, Mexico March for Life
Canadian youth stand with pro-life signs on Parliament Hill, where tens of thousands gathered in peaceful protest for the 20th annual Canadian National March for Life in Ottawa May 11. Approximately 100,000 lives are lost to abortion in Canada every year. A large Fourth Degree honor guard, as well as countless other Knights and their families, participated in the march, which processed through the downtown streets before returning to Parliament Hill. Supreme Director Graydon Nicholas of New Brunswick was among the speakers at the rally preceding the march. Supreme Director Larry Kustra of Manitoba and Supreme Director Arthur Peters of Ontario were also present.
Pro-life demonstrators take to the streets of Mexico City in the annual March for Life April 29. Knights and their families were among the estimated 13,000 participants in the march, with many carrying K of C “¡Defiende la Vida!” signs. This year’s event marked the 10th anniversary of the decriminalization of abortion up to 12 weeks gestation in Mexico City, while some politicians are pressing for the expansion of legal abortion to 24 weeks throughout the country. It was the sixth March for Life in Mexico City organized by “Pasos por la Vida,” an organization of young Mexicans testifying to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. The director of the organization, Ángel Souberville, said, “The Knights of Columbus has been a vital supporter of our efforts in Mexico. Thank you for what you do around the world to protect life.”
BISHOP DAILY: CNS photo/courtesy DeSales Media Group — CANADA: Photo by Jake Wright — MEXICO: Photo courtesy of Pasos por la Vida
Order Mourns Passing of Bishop Daily, Former Supreme Chaplain
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FAT H E R S F O R G O O D
Marrying Young Starting a family in my early 20s has filled my life with joy and blessings by Timothy Kenney
y road to marriage sounds fairly unremarkable at first. I went out with a number of girls and after a while began seeing one beautiful young lady exclusively. Eventually, we took the big step to getting engaged and then tied the marriage knot. Pretty typical, except for a few details. Rylee and I were high school juniors when we started dating seriously, and I was married before age 23, a father by 24, and will have two children under age 2 before turning 26. At a time when the average age for marriage in the United States is 29 for men and 27 for women, our path to the altar and parenthood may seem almost reckless. What were we thinking? All I can say is that we were motivated by true love and the sense of vocation. We knew we were made for each other and were answering God’s call to the sacrament of marriage. We did not set out to be countercultural. But when I met Rylee, I knew she was the one. Though we were separated for four years at different colleges, we continued to grow closer during that time and decided to start a new chapter of our lives together. Our culture claims we were too young for the commitment. But we figured that since life is difficult and unpredictable at any age, we would rather face the challenges together as a couple. To be honest, sometimes I do feel too young and inexperienced for the commitments I’ve taken on. I don’t have all the answers; there are lives that depend on me, and failure is not an option. But in another sense, this fear can be a healthy motivation for me to grow up and take on the mantle of manhood long before our culture prompts men to do so. With the love and support of my wife and the innate desire to be a hero to my children, my masculine identity is being forged. When I consider how many of my peers are terrified of lasting commitments, and as I watch some
of them drift along trying to find themselves, I consider myself blessed to have already made decisions that force me to focus on the welfare of others, rather than on what I imagine to be my needs of the moment. Any doubts or hardships I may suffer seem small and self-centered when I hear Rylee’s reassuring words, our daughter call me “Dada,” or the heartbeat of our unborn baby via ultrasound. Rylee and I both know that if we had waited until our lives were perfect to marry and have children, we’d still be waiting — and would never be as happy as we are now. Generations before us took on these responsibilities amid greater challenges and fewer conveniences. They placed their own lives at the service of the next generation, and it was because of their faith in the future that any of us are here today. Caring for two children can be a daunting task. But thinking that I may be blocking God’s plan for our marriage by refusing to be open to new life is even more frightening. By using natural family planning, Rylee and I place our fertility at the service of God as we pray and discuss together when God may be calling us to have another child. From our own experiences, we know that the greatest gift we can give our children is a sibling. It is ironic that many people my age are desperately seeking what Rylee and I have — a stable, supportive love and a stake in the future through our children — yet they are doing everything to avoid the commitment. Marrying young is not for everyone; God may have others plans for you. But for my generation, known for keeping all options open, it may be the one option that will bring the most fulfillment now, and in the years to come.♦ TIMOTHY KENNEY, a high school teacher, is a member of Notre Dame (Ind.) Council 1477.
FIND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES FOR CATHOLIC MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES AT FATHERSFORGOOD. ORG .
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Caseys at the Bat Major league Knights delivered the national pastime to American doughboys “over there” during World War I by Jim Leeke he United States had been at war with Imperial Germany for more than a year by summer 1918, but momentous battles lay ahead. One-half million U.S. troops were overseas, with more regiments reaching France every day. By the armistice in November, the American Expeditionary Forces would total nearly 2 million men. The Knights of Columbus Committee on War Activities raised more than $14 million to fund recreational centers, called huts, for doughboys at home and abroad. The committee also enrolled more than 2,000 Knights from many professions as uniformed officers — called secretaries — to supervise these huts and sent half of them overseas. Secretaries wore army officers’ uniforms affixed with a “KC” insignia, prompting the soldiers to call them “Caseys.” When the doughboys in France weren’t training or fighting, they wanted recreation and reminders of home. Among other things, that meant baseball — which the Order delivered. The Knights soon “realized the necessity of sending a man to France who had played the game and knew how to teach it,” read a comment in The New York Times, Aug. 28, 1919. “That man was Johnny Evers.” Evers ranks among the game’s greatest stars — the second baseman in the fabled Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double-play combination that helped the Chicago Cubs win back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908. A number of other baseball men followed him into K of C uniform, including Detroit Tigers manager Hughie Jennings; St. Louis Cardinals manager Jack Hendricks; and Bill Coughlin, former infielder for the Tigers and Washington Senators. DOING GREAT WORK John Joseph Evers was born July 21, 1881, in Troy, N.Y. After playing 12 seasons for the Cubs, he was part of the 1914 “miracle Braves” of Boston. The team had come from last place in late July and swept the World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics, who were led by legendary manager Connie Mack, also a K of C member. Evers won the Chalmers Award the same year as the National League’s most valuable player. His career, which later earned him a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946, came to a sudden halt in 1918. He had gone to spring training with the Boston Red Sox, rooming with 23-year-old pitcher Babe Ruth, who would join the Knights the following year. Evers, then 36, expected to 8 ♦ COLUMBIA ♦
Hall of Fame second baseman Johnny Evers, a member of Troy (N.Y.) Council 176, poses for a portrait before a game in New York City July 1913. • Opposite page: A July 28, 1918, New York Herald story features Evers and 45 fellow K of C overseas secretaries — known as “Caseys” — pictured in front of the New York Public Library shortly before sailing for France. sign with Boston, only to find himself sitting in the stands on opening day. Nicknamed “the Trojan” for his hometown and “the Crab” for his disposition on the field, Evers was eager to join the war effort, but an arm ailment prevented him from enlisting. A member of Troy (N.Y.) Council 176, he pitched the Knights the idea of sending him “over there” as an athletic director. “Believe me, I’m mighty glad the Knights of Columbus
LEFT: Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
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have accepted my offer,” Evers said in the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily News, June 5, 1918. “I feel as though I can do great work in France.” Evers reached Paris Sept. 15, hours before a German bombing raid, and quickly got down to work. “We are making a tour, riding in big motor vans or in anything going our way, from camp to camp, hospital base to hospital base,” Evers wrote in the Troy Times, Oct. 15, 1918. “And we have discovered that the fellows want to see us, to talk baseball, and to talk about back home, and so every morning I get up early and go visiting the boys in the hospitals.” When Evers wasn’t visiting wounded doughboys, he arranged and umpired games between units. “Evers is organizing ball teams in the different sectors, and in every way the Knights of Columbus work is meeting with grand success,” reported the November 1918 issue of The Columbiad, quoting an army chaplain in France.
The former second baseman even taught the game of baseball to French troops, known as les poilus (the unshaven). A French general named Paul Vidal, who was married to an American woman, admired how accurately baseball-loving doughboys could throw grenades and asked for Evers to teach at a military school at Besançon. “I shall never have any other experiences as interesting as my work in France when I undertook to teach the poilus how to play baseball,” Evers later wrote in the March 1919 issue of Baseball Magazine. On two separate occasions, totaling 23 days, Evers also spent time serving troops on the front lines. In a letter reprinted Nov. 21, 1918, in the Troy Times, a K of C secretary wrote, “I have seen Evers working under the heaviest of shellfire to supply cigarettes and other comforts to the boys at the front, and neither danger nor fatigue meant anything to him when there was work to be done for the fighting men.”
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“I ran into boys from every town in which I used to manage a club,” he said in the Utica Herald-Dispatch, Dec. 21, 1918. “I was with Evers part of the time, and believe me, John was certainly popular abroad.” Hendricks went on to manage the Cincinnati Reds from 1924-29 and, like Jennings, practiced law. AFTER THE ARMISTICE After returning home shortly before Christmas, Evers was joined by Hughie Jennings in addressing a K of C Board of Directors meeting in New York City Jan. 5, 1919. Evers gave an account of his work to Supreme Knight James A. Flaherty, Supreme Chaplain P.J. McGivney — brother of the Order’s venerable founder — and others. He also recounted how a fellow secretary, Joseph P. Crowe of Binghamton, N.Y., lost his leg after being hit by an artillery shell while serving on the front. By that time, Hendricks had returned to the United States as well, but several former big league ballplayers joined Coughlin in continuing the unglamorous work of Caseys in France and occupied Germany. Their hardy corps included Tommy Dowd, who had played for six teams from 1891-1901; Jack “Shad” Barry, who had played for seven teams (1899-1908); Pete Noonan, an infielder for the Athletics, Cubs and Cardinals; and Bill Friel, who played for the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Browns. American League umpire Jack Kerin also was a Casey. Dowd reached Europe Jan. 11, 1919, becoming director of baseball for the Army of Occupation. By that time, immense quantities of baseball paraphernalia were being shipped weekly from K of C overseas headquarters in New York, and it is estimated that doughboys across Europe played some 5,000 ball games a day with outfits supplied by the Knights. Barry arrived after a year in charge of K of C athletics at Camp Kearny, Calif. He and other Caseys supported the Inter-Allied Games in Paris the summer of 1919. Meanwhile, Noonan developed a strong ball team in Esch, Luxembourg. Most of baseball’s Caseys came home with the last of the doughboys later in the year. Noonan was in Ireland when he learned that a late relative had bequeathed him half a million dollars. “So Pete, who went across to help the Doughboys, is coming back wealthy,” the Brooklyn Standard Union reported Aug. 14, 1919. Friel stayed in France several months longer than the others, teaching baseball in schools and colleges. He also “apparently
Photo by International Film Service; courtesy of the Library of Congress, Serial and Government Publications Division
‘ON THE OTHER SIDE’ Future Hall of Famer (1945) Hughie Jennings, a Knight from Pennsylvania, enrolled as a K of C secretary in 1918. One of the major league’s great shortstops, Jennings had managed the Detroit Tigers since 1907 and would later become a trial lawyer in Scranton. “There is no man in the national game who is better known or more popular than Jennings, and he will be a valuable addition to the Knights of Columbus staff abroad,” The New York Times reported Oct. 3. Since fans had dubbed him “Ee-Yah” Jennings for his earsplitting yells on the diamond, sports artist Robert Ripley sketched enemy soldiers raising their hands in surrender as a shattering E-E-E-E YAH! rose from the opposite trench. However, Jennings never left America. The war ended before his passport arrived. With baseball set to resume in 1919, he lacked enough time to sail to France and still return to the Tigers for spring training. A fellow Pennsylvania native, who had played third base for the Tigers (1904-08) and previously for the Washington Senators (1901-04), did make it over to serve as a Casey. “I’ve arrived here safe and sound,” wrote Bill Coughlin from Paris, in a letter printed in the December 1918 issue of The Columbiad. “There is a feeling everywhere you go that the war will be over soon, which makes a fellow feel more like working than ever.” A member of Scranton (Pa.) Council 280, Coughlin later worked in Germany, in charge of baseball for the Third Army. According to an article in the army newspaper Stars and Stripes, June 13, 1919, “It was his pet idea to start the umpire school, which provided efficient umps for the many leagues in the Army of Occupation.” Jack Hendricks, a former MLB outfielder and manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, also arrived in France shortly after the armistice Nov. 11, 1918. He had enrolled later than Jennings but met no delays. “I have been anxious for some time to do my bit on the other side,” Hendricks said in The New York Times, Nov. 5, 1918. “I feel like a youngster, although I have a son now in an officers’ training camp.” The Knights still had valuable work to do, keeping up the morale of servicemen waiting to go home. Hendricks visited Chateau Thierry and met thousands of doughboys, among them a minor leaguer who had lost an eye and a leg to enemy shelling just hours before the armistice.
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has found a little time to provide for his own happiness,” reported The Harrisburg Telegraph, Sept. 5, 1919. The Casey married a young Italian woman in Paris Aug. 7. He returned to America with his bride in January 1920, no doubt feeling richer than Noonan. Moreover, the success that these men had on the ball field did not mean as much to them as did their service as Caseys. Reflecting on his decision to serve as a K of C field secretary, Evers stated, “I was never more enthusiastic about anything in my life.” It was with great pride that he later received a medal from the Order “in recognition of patriotic service as a secretary for the Knights of Columbus in their war activities.”♦ JIM LEEKE is a member of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) and a writer and editor in Columbus, Ohio. His latest book is From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War (University of Nebraska Press, 2017).
A number of Knights affiliated with Major League Baseball signed up to serve as K of C field secretaries at the conclusion of World War I, including Bill Coughlin (top right), former third baseman for the Detroit Tigers; Jack Hendricks (right), manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds; and Hall of Fame shortstop Hughie Jennings (above), best known for playing for the Baltimore Orioles and managing the Tigers. • Opposite page: Johnny Evers, wearing a K of C uniform, is pictured in Paris with former Boston Braves teammate Hank Gowdy, the first active major league player to volunteer for service in World War I. The photo originally appeared in the Sept. 29, 1918 issue of The New York Times. COUGHLIN: Photo by Chicago History Museum/Getty Images HENDRICKS: Photo by Sporting News and Rogers Photo Archive via Getty Images JENNINGS: Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images
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‘Grant Us Peace’ Order and U.S. Military Archdiocese co-sponsor annual pilgrimage of wounded warriors to Lourdes by Columbia staff
early 200 U.S. soldiers, veterans, designated caregivers, companions, chaplains and volunteers participated in the Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage for Non-Wounded, Wounded, Ill or Injured Military Personnel May 17-23. Cosponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, (AMS) and the Knights of Columbus, the trip took place during the 59th International Military Pilgrimage (Pèlerinage Militaire International, or PMI), which included delegations from 41 countries comprising some 13,000 military personnel in all. This year’s pilgrimage coincided with the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I. In a letter to this year’s Warriors to Lourdes pilgrims, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson reflected on the pilgrimage’s theme — Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us peace). “Jesus instructs us that ‘blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ And so we naturally think of the brave men and women of the military who have served as instruments of peace in our modern day,” the supreme knight wrote. “And we pray that God will grant the gift of peace in our world.” Auxiliary Bishop F. Robert Spencer of the AMS, a member of Bishop John J. Kaising Council 14223 at U.S. Army Garrison
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Yongsan, South Korea, celebrated the opening Mass for all U.S. pilgrims May 19. “My friends, you are here because of God’s love for you,” he said in his homily. “He has taken the initiative to love you first and now simply waits for your response, perhaps during this very pilgrimage here in Lourdes.” The Warriors to Lourdes pilgrims attended a variety of religious and spiritual events — including Masses, Stations of the Cross, Marian processions and occasions to pray the rosary — as well as a colorful opening ceremony. They also had the opportunity to bathe in the waters of the Lourdes Grotto — a destination that annually draws millions of people who seek spiritual, physical or emotional healing. A military band concert and a sports challenge provided cultural and athletic entertainment, while a wreath-laying commemoration for fallen soldiers allowed the U.S. pilgrims to join in prayer with international military personnel. U.S. Army Special Forces 1st Sgt. Sompaul Vorapanich, a member of St. Michael the Archangel Council 15250 at Fort Bragg, N.C., participated as a trip leader. “There are soldiers who have physical ailments, physical wounds that you can see,” he explained. “Others have wounds
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Photos by Tamino Petelinsek
Above: Warriors to Lourdes pilgrims stand outside of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in France. Participants included nearly 50 injured veterans, as well as other military personnel, chaplains, caregivers and volunteers. • Opposite page: Navy Chaplain Father Brian Reedy, S.J., a lieutenant junior-grade, leads pilgrims in prayer at the 11th Station along the Via Crucis in Lourdes. • Military pilgrims pray the rosary as a Marian procession makes its way through the sanctuary grounds of Lourdes May 20. that are invisible to the eye, but they are still scarred mentally and have had traumatic experiences that have led them there. This event is both a spiritual healing, as well as physical and mental, and there’s no place better to do it than Lourdes.” On May 20, Warriors to Lourdes pilgrims joined thousands of fellow PMI pilgrims in a massive candlelight Marian procession that included the singing of hymns and recitation of the rosary in different languages. Similar processions gather a multitude of faithful every night at Lourdes, but the annual PMI event is one of the largest of the year. The Order’s sponsorship of the Warrior to Lourdes pilgrimage is the latest chapter in its involvement with the town, which became a haven of healing after the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, revealing herself as “the Immaculate Conception.” During World War I, the Knights of Columbus provided social services and spiritual support to Allied servicemen of all faiths, especially through the K of C Hut program that operated under the motto “Everybody Welcome, Everything
Free.” The Order established a hut in Lourdes and in 1919 organized a post-war pilgrimage to the site that attracted thousands of U.S. soldiers stationed across Europe. The author of a contemporary report wrote, “Some of us had come 6,000 miles, but if we had come from the uppermost parts of the earth, the joy of these moments would have made the journey and the fatigue seem as nothing. The atmosphere was redolent with prayer and praise and thanksgiving.” The overwhelming success of the 1919 pilgrimage prompted the Order to produce a pocket guide about Lourdes for future pilgrims. Nearly a century later, the site continues to attract thousands of faithful soldiers seeking peace and healing. “Lourdes is perfect for this type of military healing pilgrimage, which is really needed for many of our men and women of the military services,” said Sgt. Vorapanich. “The camaraderie here has been a wonderful thing, with so many different nations, and seeing the healing, whether physical or mental, has been awesome. I’ve never seen anything like this.”♦ JULY 2017
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Conscience The Knights of Columbus in Poland promote Emmy-winning documentary about John Paul II’s role in the fall of communism by Tomasz Adamski
uring his 27-year pontificate, St. John Paul II traveled far more than any other pope, encountering the faithful around the world. He canonized more saints than all of his predecessors in the previous five centuries combined and left a vast and rich collection of teaching. His papacy had an unprecedented impact on the Church and the world, illustrated by the pivotal role he played in the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. The film Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism, which aired throughout the United States and Canada in 2016, documents the spiritual revolution that led to the fall of the communist regime in Europe — and the part that 14 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN “We often think of political or economic forces changing history, but John Paul II understood that men and women live and die for great ideas. They live and die in defense of human dignity, and therefore, he was essential to this new birth of freedom on the European continent,” explained Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson, who served as executive producer of Liberating a Continent.
LEFT: Photo by Paweł Igielski
Karol Wojtyła, later Pope John Paul II, played in the process. The film’s narrator, Jim Caviezel, best known for his role of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, visited Poland March 28April 2 at the invitation of the Knights of Columbus. Assisted by Knights in the pope’s homeland, to which the Order expanded in 2006, Caviezel promoted the Polish version of the documentary, the work of the Order and the teachings of John Paul II.
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Pope John Paul II waves to a huge crowd of faithful in Wadowice, his hometown, during the sixth day of his historic pilgrimage to his native Poland in June 1979. • Opposite page: Actor Jim Caviezel stands with Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop emeritus of Kraków and the former secretary of Pope John Paul II, during Caviezel’s visit to the city to promote Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism. It is estimated that during World War II Poland lost 6 million citizens, which accounted for more than 20 percent of its population. As a result of deliberate extermination efforts, 1 in 3 priests and professors, 1 in 4 lawyers and about 40 percent of medical doctors were killed. Nearly two-thirds of the buildings in Warsaw, the nation’s capital, were completely destroyed. After the fall of the Nazi regime in 1945, the Soviet communists took control of a demographically and economically depleted Poland, incorporating it into the Eastern Bloc. As the new regime maintained power in Poland using terror, propaganda and surveillance, hope for an imminent victory
over the powerful Soviet system soon grew dim. Liberating a Continent explains how the unprecedented election of a Polish pope in 1978 sent shock waves throughout the world and gave a “new awareness” to citizens living behind the iron curtain after decades of oppression. Many of the heads of state, historians, foreign policy experts and Church leaders who are interviewed in the film emphasize the great symbolic role of John Paul II’s first apostolic visit to his homeland as pope in 1979. In their opinion, it was the spark that ignited the peaceful protest movement that grew over the next decade, leading to the eventual dissolution of the Eastern Bloc. JULY 2017
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“You must divide the post-war history of Poland between “There was no way that you could contest Soviet power by the period before June 2, 1979, and after June 2, 1979. The force,” explained Davies. “It had to be contested by spiritual dividing line marks two very different eras,” said Dominican power by convincing people that there was another way to Father Maciej Zięba in a featured interview, citing the date of live, and he did it.” John Paul II’s arrival in his homeland as pope. Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, archbishop emeritus of A LIVING LEGACY Kraków and former secretary of John Paul II, also attests to In the teaching of John Paul II, the path to regain freedom the profound impact of the apostolic journey. “There is no did not end with the fall of communism. He further emphadoubt,” he said. “You could say that everything began there sized the need for a new evangelization to fill the emptiness in Victory Square.” that follows the collapse of totalitarian regimes. The documentary depicts that crucial moment in the center In his 1994 apostolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, of Warsaw, as John Paul II concluded his homily on the vigil John Paul II wrote, “With the fall of the great anti-Christian of Pentecost with these words: “Let your Spirit descend and systems in Europe, first of Nazism and then of Communism, renew the face of the earth, the there is urgent need to bring face of this land!” once more the liberating mesInstead of criticizing comsage of the Gospel to the men munism directly, the pope unand women of Europe.” dermined the very foundations The spiritual revolution deof Marxism by emphasizing picted in Liberating a Contithe dignity of man and his nent is a crucial part of the work, the brotherhood of huhistory of the Polish people. manity, and man’s destiny beNow, more than a decade after yond temporal prosperity. the death of John Paul II, eduAs John Paul II would later cating a new generation about state in his 1991 encyclical his influence on the world and Centesimus Annus, “The fundathe European political sphere mental error of socialism is anremains an essential task. thropological in nature.” With this in mind, Liberating His nine-day pilgrimage in a Continent was recently brought 1979 reclaimed the Polish peoto John Paul II’s homeland with ple’s faith. A year later, the Solthe help of the Knights of idarity movement — the first Columbus in Poland. Jim Caviezel receives a framed shield depicting Our Lady of independent labor union in the “When we recall the words Czestochowa and the Polish eagle from then-State Deputy Anbloc — was formed. To this he spoke on his first visit to drzej Anasiak (right) and his wife, Magdalena, on behalf of the day, John Paul II is called the Poland, we see that they are Knights of Columbus in Poland. “spiritual father of Solidarity,” still relevant, there is no need which played the role of a forto update them,” said Andrzej malized, mass resistance moveAnasiak, immediate past state ment against the regime. deputy of Poland. “We have an obligation, especially in Norman Davies, a well-known historian of Poland, explains Poland, to pass on the teachings of John Paul II to the new in the film, “Without this week of his visit in ’79, the Soli- generations, to the young people who have not been fortunate darity movement of 1980 was unthinkable.” enough to meet him.” Even Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, the head of the communist The Knights of Columbus has a particular reason to prostate of Poland who instituted martial law in the nation in mote John Paul II’s teachings, Anasiak added. “St. John Paul December 1981, described the apostolic visit as the “detona- II was a unique saint to the Knights. It is due to him that the tor” which blew communism into the air. Order developed in Europe.” In response to French foreign minister Pierre Laval in 1935, On April 2, the 12th anniversary of the Polish pope’s death, Joseph Stalin famously asked, “The pope? How many divi- the documentary aired on TVP1 — the largest public televisions does he have?” sion station in Poland. Liberating a Continent tells the story of how John Paul II’s Caviezel, the film’s narrator, traveled to Poland to promote spiritual dynamism and revolution of conscience, which led to the documentary and shared his enthusiasm for John Paul II’s the rebirth of European freedom, was a definitive answer to teachings and for the nation. Stalin’s question, which is posed at the beginning of the film. “It wouldn’t be Jim Caviezel playing Jesus if it wasn’t for John In the words of Cardinal Dziwisz, John Paul II led the Paul II,” he said in an interview with the Polish weekly magazine “largest revolution in history without the shedding of blood.” wSieci, describing the impact of the saint on his life as an actor. 16 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Photo by Jan Walczewski
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Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
During a visit of Pope John Paul II to his homeland in June 1987, Polish police officers form a police line to block demonstrators carrying banners ` ` (Solidarity), the name of the Polish trade union formed in 1980 in opposition to the communist government. reading Solidarnosc “I understood that I could not be satisfied by mediocrity,” he added, emphasizing how John Paul II’s witness affected his life. In an interview with Gość Niedzielny, Poland’s largest Catholic weekly, Caviezel also said, “Forbidden fruits will never make you a real man. To become a real man means that you take full responsibility and make courageous, outward acts of love. Just like John Paul II.” During his visit, Caviezel visited the memorial and museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp where more than 1 million were murdered, as well as the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which commemorates the heroism of the Polish resistance during World War II. “I did not experience the totalitarian powers. But visiting Auschwitz, where Maximilian Kolbe gave his life for a fellow prisoner, helped me to realize the scale of suffering of the Polish people,” Caviezel explained in an interview. At the annual Catholic Publishers Fair in Warsaw, Caviezel signed hundreds of Liberating a Continent DVDs. Hosted by the Polish Knights, the opportunity for the public to meet with him generated great interest. Some people traveled hundreds of miles for the limited edition of the film, a photo and Caviezel’s autograph. “One of the greatest consequences of this premiere in our country and the visit of Jim Caviezel has been the increased
profile of the Knights of Columbus,” said Anasiak. It is not often, Anasiak explained, that “an actor of this caliber comes to us, recalls the greatness of the Polish pope and reminds us of what is often forgotten: that a man must constantly grow in faith.” Partnership with Poland’s more than 10,000 Catholic parishes also contributed to the increase of interest in the Order. Polish Knights sent official posters to hang in each church, and many parishes shared information in their Sunday bulletins and invited parishioners to watch the film’s television premiere on the anniversary of John Paul II’s death. District deputies and grand knights report that they have received many inquiries and are welcoming new members thanks to the documentary. In this way, the Knights are helping to ensure the continuation of the Polish pope’s legacy — a spiritual revolution that extends far beyond bringing freedom to countries in Europe. “John Paul II’s legacy,” Supreme Knight Anderson explained, is the universal message that “freedom is a dramatic experience that has to be lived every day, and the challenge of freedom is at its very core a moral, personal challenge.” For more information about Liberating a Continent, see page 2 or visit jp2film.com.♦ TOMASZ ADAMSKI writes from Kraków, Poland, where he is a member of St. Brother Albert Council 15128. JULY 2017
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Christian Truth in a Democratic World An interview with Prof. Ryszard Legutko about reconciling faith and politics in the secular West
orn in 1949, Ryszard Legutko spent the first four decades of his life in communist-controlled Poland. Like many, he came to idealize the freedom and political structure of liberal democratic societies, particularly the United States. Following the collapse of communism in 1989 and Poland’s democratic transition, he experienced disillusionment as political problems persisted. Today, Legutko is a professor of philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and he has been a member of the European Parliament since 2014. He is the author of several books, including The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies (Encounter, 2016). Columbia editor Alton J. Pelowski recently had the opportunity to talk to Legutko about his book and about the role of faith in the public square today. COLUMBIA: Thomas Jefferson spoke of “a wall of separation between church and state.” Many people in the United States have taken this to mean that a person’s personal faith does not belong in the public square. What is your opinion about the proper role that religion should play in the political sphere? 18 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
PROF. RYSZARD LEGUTKO: The effect of the Reformation in Europe was that religion was under the control of the throne, whereas in the United States there is this separation. Until recently, this was widely believed to mean only that there is no established religion. The idea that religion has no access to the public square is a recent phenomenon. From the beginning, it was assumed that the United States was founded on Christian principles and that people who are elected to the public functions are religious people, sometimes with very strong religious views, and that these views affect their political opinion. It’s not that religious truth is to be translated literally into policy, but it has a role to play. If you are a Christian, you cannot totally abstract your religious views from your public life. That’s why the Bible is considered to be a sacred document in courts, such as for swearing oaths. Only recently has this been seriously contested, with calls for the removal of crosses and of the Ten Commandments, for example. My opinion is a simple one: You cannot just distill or separate politics from your religious or philosophical views, in an effort to create a “pure” politics, deprived of metaphysical content. It’s simply impossible; such human beings do not exist.
by Alton J. Pelowski
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Photo by Wiktor Dabkowski/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
COLUMBIA: How are we to understand the marginalization of Christianity when secular culture espouses the importance of tolerance? LEGUTKO: What we see nowadays, not only in the United States but also here in Europe, is that a certain type of ideology is considered to be no ideology at all. It is seen as civil neutrality, which is a version of liberalism. If you identify as a liberal, you imply that you are neutral, that you are free from metaphysical or religious presuppositions. This is untrue, of course. Liberalism is a very philosophically loaded point of view, and there’s a whole package that you put into the public square. With respect to abortion, for example, what liberals today have tried to do is make people believe that an objection to abortion is a religious issue — that the civilly neutral position is to make abortion legal. But it’s not simply a religious issue; it’s primarily an anthropological and philosophical one. Christians, particularly Catholics, traditionally have a nonliberal and non-democratic concept of human nature. The human being is defined metaphysically, not merely in terms of utility or as a creature that seeks pleasure and avoids suffering. Christianity places one in contact with the breadth of the Western cultural and philosophical traditions. What I call “politically imposed amnesia” is the tendency to get rid of the perceived burden of Western culture. In all of this, we must depend on the culture of civility. That is, I know what you are and you know what I am, and we can somehow come to a political compromise. But do not make the assumption that you can put forward everything that you stand for if you do not allow me to do the same. COLUMBIA: In your book The Demon in Democracy, you make the bold claim that, despite their great differences, liberal democracy and communism retain important similarities. What are these similarities? LEGUTKO: I try to be more specific in the book and enumerate various levels of similarities, but generally I would say that what makes these two systems similar is that both liberal democrats and the communists politicized the entirety of social, individual and communal life. The communists believed the entire social life, even the arts and philosophy, should be permeated by the spirit of communism. The liberal democrats do exactly the same. That is, they believe that everything in the liberal democratic society should be liberal democratic. This aggressive attitude aims to imbue the entire human existence with one set of ideas. In both cases, it implies that you must cut off human heritage and everything that came before in the realm of ideas. Forget about the philosophers and thinkers of antiquity; the less you know about them the better, because they contaminate your mind with the incorrect ideas. During the last decades, deliberate policies of governments and institutions have also dismantled and redefined the family in order to create a new type of society — a new man. This, too, is something that reminds us of the communist regime. To establish a new communist society, the family was the first object of attack.
Members of European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki (left) and Ryszard Legutko hold a press conference at European Parliament headquarters in Strasbourg, France, in January 2016. COLUMBIA: In The Republic, Plato warned that democracy can degenerate into “tyranny.” Much later, in Democracy in America, Tocqueville talked about the rise of “democratic despotism.” More recently, in Centesimus Annus, John Paul II argued that a democracy without values can become a kind of “totalitarianism.” Are these different ways of expressing a similar argument? LEGUTKO: Yes and no. These are different thinkers, but for each of them democracy was problematic. Democracy was not something ultimate that should provide the platform to evaluate everything else. Rather, it’s the other way around — that is, you should identify some timeless or more reliable criteria and then try to evaluate every political system, including democracy. Democracy can give people an excessive sense of certainty and confidence. If the enlightened majority agrees on something, then it must be true. If something is accepted as obvious to everyone around you, then you just believe it and stop questioning things. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that in American society people like general concepts such as “freedom,” “equality” and “justice,” but these lose their strength when they are not grounded in tradition. So, we use these concepts very often, but we no longer ask what we mean by them as we adapt them to changing needs and circumstances. In Plato’s Dialogues, the initial impulse of Socrates was to elucidate the meaning of the general concepts that are largely used in democracy. He analyzed these concepts and tried to find a definition. For example, everybody talks about freedom. “I stand for freedom, and you are the enemy of freedom.” The word “freedom” has a positive connotation, but we no longer understand what we are talking about. Only when we discover what words mean will our debates make any sense. JULY 2017
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In this context, we can observe how language has deteriorated in recent decades. It’s no longer a tool for communication, but rather a weapon with which you wage war against your adversaries. COLUMBIA: Both John Paul II and Pope Benedict spoke about the role of Poland in preserving the Christian identity of Europe and re-evangelizing the West. Is it true that Christian identity has been preserved here in a particular way? LEGUTKO: The more time I spend in the European Union, the more truth I see in these statements. Poland is practically the only Christian country left in Europe. In places like Spain, for example, there are almost no new vocations and very strong anti-Christian sentiments. I don’t know how many Poles are aware of it, but we are nearly the last vestige of Christianity of Europe. In Poland, about half the Christians, mostly Catholics, are still regular churchgoers, and we are Europe’s main exporter of Catholic priests. But it is in the nature of democracy to become like everyone else; if you are an exception, there must be something wrong with you. Some think there must be something wrong with Polish society if there are so many Polish Catholics and the churches are full. No, there is something wrong with the countries in which the churches are empty. COLUMBIA: You’ve spoken on behalf of the persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East. What in your 20 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
opinion should be done in the West to aid Christians and other minority groups who are targeted for genocide? LEGUTKO: Christians are suffering persecution in the Middle East and elsewhere — such as in North Korea and places in Africa — yet there is also discrimination of Christians in Europe, and these two things are somehow correlated. European politicians are very reluctant to talk about the persecution of Christians. When they do, they use abstract terms like “freedom of religion.” They evade the issue when they use this weak language. They should be defending Christians as Christians in the same way as the Israelis defend Jews as Jews, not because it contradicts the abstract idea of nondiscrimination. These same politicians don’t escape into this neutral, abstract language when defending homosexuals, for instance. Almost every document that comes out of the European Parliament contains clauses where the rights of LGBT people are stated explicitly. You never find such language in defense of Christians. If we Westerners do not defend Christianity, nobody will, but we are somehow reluctant or unable to do so. There are many things that can be done to help ensure that the Middle East is not further de-Christianized. There were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003, and now it’s around 200,000. This is not only about Christianity but about the presence of Western civilization in the Middle East. This is also about peace. Christians were the people who stood for peace there. Now, with them nearly gone, you have what is taking place today.♦
Photo by East News/Getty Images
Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, stands by a map of Poland in 1982. Two years later, he was kidnapped and murdered by officers of the communist secret police.
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C H R I S T I A N S AT R I S K
‘Courage to Confront Reality’ As the Order continues to aid genocide victims, U.S. House offers support with bipartisan legislation
Photo by Lloyd Wolf
n June 6, the U.S. House of Representatives voted at risk in the Middle East. In conjunction with the ad unanimously to pass the Iraq and Syria Emergency campaign, the Supreme Council pledged to match up to Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390), a bill that will $1 million in donations through July 1 to assist with food allow the U.S. government to assist organizations that are programs for Christian refugees in Iraq. effectively serving these victims of genocide in Iraq and The Christian population in Iraq has fallen from as many Syria. The measure comes more than a year after the State as 1.5 million in 2003 to only about 200,000 today, accordDepartment declared that the ing to the Chaldean Catholic persecution of Christians and Archdiocese of Erbil. Erbil is other religious minorities by the home to the largest Christian Islamic State, or ISIS, constitutes population still in Iraq and the genocide. country’s largest community of “H.R. 390 will help to ensure displaced Christians, consisting that U.S. government money of 12,000 families. The archdiowill actually reach these endancese now faces a shortfall of gered communities,” said $600,000 a month in food aid. Supreme Knight Carl A. Ander“As we approach the third anson at a press conference on niversary of ISIS’ genocide Capitol Hill June 7. “We must against our community in Iraq, have the courage to confront reIraqi Christians face a new ality and then we must have the threat,” explained Archbishop courage to change reality. That is Bashar Warda of Erbil. “Even as what the House of Representatheir hometowns are liberated, tives did last night.” our people often cannot move He added, “Last evening’s home because there is not enough Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson speaks on Capitol vote showed this is not a partimoney for reconstruction or seHill after the U.S. House of Representatives unansan issue. It is an issue of surcurity. What’s worse, at this point imously passed the Iraq and Syria Emergency Relief vival, justice and decency and we face a serious shortfall in the and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) June 7. Also demonstrates that America money needed just to cover the pictured are Chaldean Catholic Bishop Bawai Soro stands united to ensure that the costs of providing food to the disof San Diego and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who goals of terrorism will never be placed Christians in our care. sponsored the bill. achieved.” Having to decide between reAlso speaking at the press conbuilding homes or feeding the ference was Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th District, N.J., who displaced is not a choice,” he said. “It is a potential death sponsored the bill; Rep Anna Eshoo, D-18th District, sentence for our Christian communities.” Calif., a co-sponsor of the bill; and Haider Elias, president Through its Christian Refugee Relief Fund, the Knights of Yazda, a global Yazidi organization. of Columbus has donated more than $12 million since The bill, which has moved to the Senate, also directs the 2014 in support of communities too often ignored by diUnited States to provide funding and assistance to organ- rect U.N. or U.S. government assistance. The bulk of the izations that conduct criminal investigations and collect funding has aided Christian communities in Iraq with and preserve evidence for the prosecution of individuals food, clothing, shelter and education, and has also helped and groups who have undertaken these acts. threatened or displaced communities in Syria, Jordan, At the end of May, the Knights of Columbus launched Lebanon and Egypt. Other religious minority groups tara digital and television ad campaign across the United geted by ISIS, including Yazidis, have also been recipients States to raise awareness and funds on behalf of Christians of the Knights’ aid.♦ SUPPORT THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS CHRISTIAN REFUGEE RELIEF FUND. VISIT CHRISTIANSATRISK . ORG
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Brothers in the Faith State officers of Utah share why they joined the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus by Marie Mischel
hen he was 6 years old, Andy Airriess, now 61, went to church for the first time. On that particular day, Andy’s mother took him and his three older brothers to be baptized in a Lutheran church. The reason? “My mom told me, one day one of us might want to marry a Catholic,” recalled Airriess. He didn’t set foot into a church again until 15 years later, 22 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
when he attended midnight Mass in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, with Giselle Lavoie, his future wife. After a long spiritual journey, Airriess became a Catholic and a Knight of Columbus. Today, he and his wife live outside Salt Lake City, and he serves as state deputy of Utah. There, at the center of the Mormon faith (officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), Airriess shares
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Left to right: Utah State Chaplain Father Erik Richtsteig, State Deputy Andy Airriess, State Secretary Rick Kump and State Treasurer Greg Keller — all Catholic converts — stand together at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City May 31.
Photo by Derek Israelsen Photography
something in common with several of his fellow state officers. State Secretary Rick Kump, whom Airriess taught in RCIA, State Treasurer Greg Keller, whom Airriess and Kump recruited to the Utah State Council, and even State Chaplain Father Erik Richtsteig, who accepted Keller into the Church, are, like Airriess, converts to Catholicism. Though each of their stories is unique, they now share bonds of faith and fraternity in a state where only 10 percent of the population is Catholic. ANSWERED PRAYERS, OPENED DOORS The fact that his wife, Giselle, was a practicing Catholic whose Canadian family tree boasted generations of priests and nuns didn’t give Andy Airriess any pause. “I thought, if faith made her the way she is, I’m 100 percent OK with her bringing up the kids in the same faith,” he said. The couple’s two daughters grew up going to Sunday Mass with their mother. For many years, Andy joined them only at Christmas and Easter.
One of the children’s nightly routines was to pray with their mother next to a statue of the Virgin Mary and a lit candle. When their daughter Lauren asked why her dad didn’t join them, Giselle told her to pray about that. “God listens to the prayers of little children. It might change some day,” Giselle recalled telling her daughter. That day came in early 1998, when Andy, then 42, was having a sleepless spell. “I would wake up in the middle of the night, my heart racing, my mind going a million miles an hour, and I had no clue why,” Andy said. One February night he awoke again, drenched with sweat. An image of Jesus knocking on a door flashed through his mind. He had seen that image in the house of a friend, who had explained that the door had no handle because “Jesus knocks, and you have to answer from the inside.” Andy lay in bed in disbelief. “But I was willing to give it a shot because I was so desperate,” he said. In that moment, he prayed for the first time in his life. “I JULY 2017
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said, ‘Jesus, if this is you talking to me, I’m listening. Tell me he said, that he learned about the Divine Mercy devotion. what to do.’” “The Knights help you with your faith and your conversion, He then fell asleep and awoke refreshed. As it happened to and open doors to serve that other men don’t have,” he said. be a Sunday morning, Andy leaned over and told Giselle he would go to Mass with her. “She said, ‘It’s not Easter, and A GROWING FRATERNITY Christmas was a while ago.’” Utah State Treasurer Greg Keller, 65, recalled growing up in He went to church that Sunday, and the next, and the next. Billings, Mont., where he attended the Pilgrim Congregational Those restless nights never returned. The following year, after Church — an “old German fire-and-brimstone kind of completing the RCIA program, he was confirmed in the church” that was across the street from his grandparents’ house. Catholic Church. Six months later he joined the Knights. An active member of the church through high school, Greg “I’ve been given so much, I wanted to give back,” Andy stopped practicing when he went to college and then joined said. “I cannot imagine not being a Knight.” the U.S. Air Force. It wasn’t long before he met Rick Kump, who was on his In 1982, he began to date Kathy Ridder, a practicing own spiritual journey. Unlike Airriess, Kump had some Catholic, and attended Mass with her. The couple married in grounding in religion as a child. Both of his parents were the Catholic Church, and their two children, Gregory Jr., who Mormon, but he lost them at an early age. He served a two- died at age 13 in 2000, and Kristina, now 27, were baptized year mission in London but was excommunicated in his early in the faith. When they moved to Utah in 1993, Kristina at20s when his lifestyle didn’t conform with LDS teaching. tended St. Joseph Catholic School in Ogden. Greg was active Describing himself at the time as a “pure hellion,” he de- in the church choir, sat on the parish building committee and cided that he was done with religion. even served as a lector, but it wasn’t After a marriage and divorce in the until his daughter asked why he never early 1980s, he said, “I was done with received Communion that he investiwomen, too.” gated joining the Church. ’VE BEEN GIVEN SO Then, in 1990, he met Julie Hopwood. He never had a problem with “Julie saved me,” Rick said. “I was Catholic teachings but discerned that MUCH, I WANTED TO just in a bad way, spiritually, mentally. the sticking point for him was the beI didn’t care about anyone or anything. lief in transubstantiation. GIVE BACK. I CANNOT It was all about me.” “I was raised with the teaching that IMAGINE NOT BEING A With patience and unconditional communion was only a symbol of the love, Julie “changed my thinking, got body and blood of Christ,” Greg KNIGHT.” me to settle down,” he said. explained. The couple married in 1996. Julie He then spoke with the parish had been raised Catholic, and the coupriest, Father Erik Richtsteig, who was ple’s two children, Derrick and Deanna, surprised to learn someone so involved were baptized in the Catholic Church. with the parish wasn’t already Catholic. However, it was not until the children asked why they didn’t Father Richtsteig suggested key reading material, and after go to church that the family started attending Sunday Mass. further study and accepting the Catholic teaching, Greg went “I thought spending an hour a day with the family on Sun- through RCIA and was confirmed on Easter Sunday 2007. day wouldn’t hurt me,” Rick said. As a new Catholic, Greg promptly accepted an invitation About two years later, Derrick, a teenager at the time, told to join the Knights. his father that their parish was beginning RCIA classes, and “I saw all the good that the Knights were doing,” he said. Rick signed up. One of the teachers was Andy Airriess. “The Knights provide opportunities that I never knew existed That year, sitting at home on Christmas Eve, Rick watched to practice your faith.” the televised midnight Mass at the Vatican and Pope John Father Richtsteig, now 52, is a convert as well. He had Paul II’s homily struck him forcefully. grown up in Utah and can actually trace his family back to “I decided I really wanted to be baptized,” he said. the founding members of the Mormon Church. He always After Rick entered the Church in 2004, he and Julie had considered himself culturally Mormon, although he was neitheir marriage convalidated. He then joined the Knights of ther baptized nor raised in a particular church. Columbus at the urging of Past State Deputy Dick Kane, who His first exposure to the Catholic Church came during his by that time was a friend and mentor. childhood, when he attended Mass with the family of his “It felt right,” said Rick. “I would recommend that anybody aunt, who had converted. When his friends learned he had going through RCIA and joining the Church join the Knights relatives who were Catholic, “They said, ‘You know they’re as well. You get threefold back what you put in.” cannibals, don’t you?’” Father Richtsteig recalled. “You want Rick has found that membership in the Order has helped to get an 8-year-old’s attention, you tell him his relatives are deepen his faith. For example, it was through a brother Knight, cannibals.”
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Photo by Derek Israelsen Photography
Joining the state officers at the Cathedral of the Madeleine are family members who were instrumental in three of their respective conversions (left to right, at front): Giselle Airriess, Kathy Keller and Derrick Kump. As a child, the popular portrayal of Catholic priests in movies captured his imagination. He was fascinated by The Exorcist, by priests who fended off Dracula with a crucifix and by the common presentation of heroic priests in old films. By the time he was 10, he decided he wanted to be a Catholic priest. A few years later, the death of John Paul I and the election of John Paul II caught his attention, as did pamphlets of apologetics published by the Order’s Catholic Information Service. The pamphlets were displayed in the vestibule of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, the mother church of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. “As I read more, I decided that because I believed in Jesus, I should belong to the Church that Jesus founded,” Father Richtsteig explained. At 15, he was received in the Church. “I was baptized, confirmed and given holy Communion by the same bishop who would later ordain me — Bishop William Weigand,” he said. After graduating from high school and the University of Utah, Richtsteig went on to a doctoral program in philosophy at Marquette University.
“Basically, I was killing time until I got up enough guts to go to the seminary,” he said. While attending Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore., he was invited by fellow seminarians to join the Knights of Columbus. A priest of the Diocese of Salt Lake City since 1994, Father Richtsteig said that he has learned what “faith in action” means by seeing the enthusiastic participation of council members in projects such as Coats for Kids and Special Olympics. “The Knights have always been supportive,” he said. “Every place I’ve been assigned has had good councils of Knights that really helped the parishes.” Father Richtsteig said he has been particularly impressed by the Knights’ emphasis on family life — which, for some Utah Knights, carries meaning beyond their role as husbands and fathers. Giselle Airriess has seen that for her husband. “The Knights are like his brothers. He’s lost most of his family, so this whole brotherhood is his family, and I consider them my in-laws.”♦ MARIE MISCHEL is editor of Intermountain Catholic, the newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. JULY 2017
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KNI GHTS IN ACTION
REPORTS FROM COUNCILS, ASSEMBLIES AND COLUMBIAN SQUIRES CIRCLES for charity and raising $1,000 for the family. The father was also invited to join the Order, and along with his brother-in-law, became a member shortly after. VETERANS VISIT
A guest comes to the end of the service line at a dinner hosted by Dr. Briggs Council 4597 in Courtenay, British Columbia. The council teamed up with L’Arche Comox Valley for a spaghetti dinner supporting its “I Belong” fundraising campaign for a new facility. L’Arche Comox Valley is a community of people with and without developmental disabilities sharing their lives together. Eight Knights of Council 4597 spent around 30 hours preparing and cooking a spaghetti dinner complete with sauces, buns and salad. About 130 people attended the event, and L’Arche netted just over $2,200.
RESOURCE CENTER SUPPORT
Our Lady of the Grove Council 13448 in Buffalo Grove, Ill., observed Respect Life Month by holding a baby bottle drive at St. Mary Parish. Bottles were handed out after Masses and to the School and Religious Education Program, with a request to fill the bottles with loose change and bring them back in three weeks. At the end of the drive the council presented a check for $10,770 to The Women’s Center of Greater Chicagoland. Over three years the council raised more than $33,250 for this cause. PRAY ALWAYS
Msgr. Francis J. O’Connors Council 11544 in Norfolk, N.Y., partnered with the 26 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
Adult Faith Enrichment Joint Committee of the Church of the Visitation, St. Raymond Church and St. Andrews Church to promote daily prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. The council also contributed to solemn vespers held on the feast of the Holy Family, with the Order’s traveling icon of the Holy Family on display. Council members took part in the service and sponsored a reception afterward.
Bishop’s Council 10490 in St. Louis, Mo., recently donated an Xbox One with games and accessories for the entertainment department of the Missouri Veterans Home in St. Louis. Members also visited with veterans during lunch the same day, helping to feed them, talking with them and helping them return to their rooms. It was a rewarding day for the Knights and the veterans. SUPER SOUP-A-THON
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Council 13209 in Spring Hill, Fla., hosted its seventh annual Soup-A-Thon charity event. Twenty-nine Knights and parishioners provided their favorite soups, with 59 restaurants also donating soup and gro-
cery stores contributing bread and baked goods. More than 1,200 people each paid $7 to choose from the many soup options, bringing in $7,500 for the council’s charity fund. Leftover soup was donated to Holy Ground, a homeless shelter, and The Dawn Center, a safe house for abused women. The remaining baked goods went to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Holy Cross Church’s food pantry. FUND DRIVE DONATION
Portland (Maine) Council 101 donated the $1,324 proceeds of a fund drive to the nonprofit One Warrior Won, which serves veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. GIVING THE GIFT OF WARMTH
Elmira (N.Y.) Council 229 purchased and donated 12 sleeping bags and 12 blankets. The items were given to Catholic Charities for its homeless shelter.
THE SEASON TO GIVE
After hearing that a family of six lost their home due to fire, Father Francis A. Ryan Council 5025 in Chicago, Ill., put a call out to council members for help. The council held a Keep Christ in Christmas fundraiser, highlighting the season’s call
Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston blesses a new ultrasound machine at the Pregnancy Resource Center East in Baytown, Texas. Two years of fundraising by John Paul Council 7206 and the support of the Galveston-Houston Diocesan Chapter and the K of C Ultrasound Initiative paid off with a new under-warranty ultrasound machine to replace a series of aging machines.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N TRAVELING CHALICE
Father Abram J. Ryan Assembly in Dallas, Texas, donated a chalice for the “Elijah Cup,” a new program at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Talty. Each week, a family takes the chalice home and places it in a prominent location, so that each day when the family prays together they will also pray for vocations. The assembly provided an honor guard during the presentation of the chalice to Father James Yamauchi. SHINE A LIGHT
Ocean City (N.J.) Council 2560 donated funds to Hand-to-Hand Mission in Haiti for the purchase of solar powered lights. The lights enable students in the Catholic schools and orphanages to work on their assignments in the safety of their rooms instead of having to go down to the park, the only area reliably lit by electricity in the evening.
Members of All Saints Council 14475 in Lake Wylie, S.C., install engraved pavement bricks at the entrance of a new Parish Life Center. By selling over 160 personalized bricks that commemorate special occasions or departed loved ones, the council raised almost $25,000 for the construction of the new center.
Members of Patchogue (N.Y.) Council 725 gather beside a statue of Jesus at St. Francis de Sales Church. Since the statue had suffered from the elements in the years since the council’s orgininal donation, Knights repaired and repainted it, and cleaned up the surrounding area.
MEETING A NEED
With a nearby V.A. hospital expecting a steep increase in its number of patients, Holy Spirit Council 10389 in Denver, N.C., teamed up with the Blanket & Shawl Ministry of Holy Spirit Catholic Church to provide red, white and blue lap blankets for incoming patients. The council solicited yarn donations from Coats & Clark in Charlotte and covered the remaining costs to supply the committee with enough material to make over 200 afghans. The council members, blanket makers and donors delivered the blankets to veterans at a V.A. Community Living Center. TEAMING UP FOR SEMINARIANS
Three Philippine councils — Santo Nino Matalam (Mindanao) Council 10255, Mt. Carmel Council 9816 in Carmen North Cotabato and
Camp Lucero Council 14837 in Cotabato Province — teamed up to provide five sacks of rice, a carton of noodles and a crate of assorted fruit to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Kidapawan City. Council members attended a Benefactors’ Mass at the seminary to deliver the donation, after which 20 seminarians received their First Degree.
the assembly felt that it was time to give back to the community facility. RSVP SUPPORT
Cardinal Francis Spellman Council 6107 in Colchester, Conn., made a donation of $1,000 to seminarian Normand LaFlamme as part of the Order’s Refund Support Vocations Program to defray the cost of studies toward the priesthood.
TAKE A SEAT
St. John XXIII Council 16090 in Curwensville, Pa., collected $1,089 in order to purchase a much-needed lift chair for a local veteran. RETURNING A FAVOR
Bishop Alexander MacDonell Assembly in Alexandria, Ontario, donated $3,500 to Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital. Over the years, many assembly members had been well served by the hospital, and
FUND THE VAN
Having received a substantial donation, Sangamon Valley Council 5754 in Petersburg, Ill., gave $7,973 to Lifetime Pregnancy Help Center to help pay for a mobile ultrasound unit. The van enables the Lifetime Pregnancy Help Center to bring its complimentary medical services to areas of need. Area councils have donated more than $25,000 toward the mobile unit.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
Galuschik, pastor of All Saints Byzantine Catholic Church. LET IT SNOW
Moosehead Lake (Maine) Council 2368, which recently reactivated, received a donation of four nearly new snowmobiles. Within a week, the council sold the vehicles. The council gave $18,000 of the $20,000 proceeds to the Holy Family Parish Building Fund, for the construction of a new church, hall and offices, and also for the renovation of the rectory. The remaining $2,000 went to fund the council’s next projects. FLYING HIGH
St. Mary’s of Korona Council 11961 in Bunnell, Fla., installed a flagpole at the Korona Cemetery. The flag, donated and raised by the council to honor the veterans (including several Knights) laid to rest in the cemetery, is illuminated 24 hours a day.
De Luna Assembly in Pensacola, Fla., gathered to pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of the assembly’s deceased members at a divine liturgy celebrated by Faithful Friar Father Steven
Mary Queen of Peace Council 8134 in Cotabato City, Philippines, provided a meal for 300 children at Awang Elementary School.
Jim Banks (left) and Sam Whitehouse, both past grand knights of St. Teresa of Calcutta Council 15456 in Limerick, Pa., work the stove in preparation for an Italian Dinner Night at the St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish Education Center. The event was a chance for families to enjoy a meal together and grow in fellowship as a parish.
Pueblo West (Colo.) Council 12020 made its third annual donation of $2,000 to the Southeast Area Colorado Special Olympics bowling tournament, supporting the roughly 375 athletes, partners and coaches participating in the event. Council 12020 has also donated toward the Special Olympics basketball tournament. Additionally, over the past five years, the council has given $10,000 toward the program’s track and field events and has volunteered and presented the colors at the competitions. BBQ & GIFT
Holy Family of Barksdale Council 9085 on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., presented the proceeds of its annual fund drive for people with intellectual disabilities 28 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
to Hap House, and hosted a barbecue lunch for the center’s clients, their families and the staff. The Hap House serves physically and mentally challenged adults through employment and community integration.
MOUTHS TO FEED
PRAYING WITH THE PARISH
St. Bonaventure Council 7432 in Calgary, Alberta, marked the 134th anniversary of the Order’s founding with its first Knights’ Mass. In addition to being a prayerful celebration, the Mass was an occasion for parishioners at St. Bonaventure Parish to learn more about the Knights and to enjoy a barbecue dinner that Council 7432 hosted after the liturgy. Msgr. John J. O’Brien Assembly, also of Calgary, provided an honor guard for the occasion.
Members of Christ the Redeemer Council 16234 in Sterling, Va., set a 550-pound statue of the Virgin Mary onto its pedestal outside the church. The council prepared the site and furnished and installed the statue to replace one that had been vandalized years ago. The funding of the statue was generously donated by Good Samaritan Council 6175 in Herndon, Va.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N HOT DOG!
A member of St. Mark Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Council 1498 works on new flooring in the parish hall of Sangre de Cristo Parish in San Luis. The council took on the project, led by the flooring expertise of a council member, in order to stretch funds donated for repairs. Additionally, in the aftermath of a dinner gala fundraiser, the council found itself with funds to spare and reached out to the Pueblo Diocese in southern Colorado to see where the money could best be used. Learning of aging churches seriously in need of repair, the council donated over $21,000 for a new roof and windows at St. James in Blanca.
Bon Homme Council 4002 in Tyndall, S.D., sponsored a fundraiser conducted by the boys’ youth group of St. Leo Parish. The boys coordinated an eating contest during the town’s Hot Dog Night and solicited sponsorships per hot dog consumed. With Council 4002 matching funds up to $1,000, the boys raised $3,000 for the K of C Christian Refugee Relief Fund. BREAKFAST TRADITION
Father Nouvel Council 4232 in Saginaw, Mich., held a breakfast for St. John
Paul II Parish, also in Saginaw. The breakfast, one of nine that the council holds every year, raised $839 for the parish. Over the past 10 years, the council’s breakfasts have raised more than $100,000 for local parishes and other charities.
Barney Gonyea Council 7109 in Safety Harbor, Fla., hosted 116 altar servers from Espiritu Santo Catholic Church at their annual Altar Server Appreciation Party. The attendees were treated to pizza and drinks.
St. Raphael Council 6265 in Lehigh Acres, Fla., resolved to purchase a high-definition ultrasound machine and other medical equipment for Community Pregnancy Centers of Fort Myer. When the council began the project, every organized group in St. Raphael Catholic Church helped to raise the necessary $20,000. Bishop Frank Joseph Dewane of Venice presided over the dedication of the ultrasound. Funds above and beyond what was needed were donated, so the council voted to create an ongoing fund to support right to life charities.
Sotero Ramirez (left), Don Bujnoch and Martin Pratka of St. John’s Council 8190 in Luling, Texas, smile with John Gonzales, for whom they constructed a new access ramp.
Graham Darling of Holy Cross Council 5423 in Burnaby, British Columbia, stands with a donated bicycle. Together with the University of British Columbia’s The Bike Kitchen, Key West Ford volunteers and Our Community Bikes, the council collected 46 bicycles to be refurbished and distributed to local people in need. In another collaboration with Key West Ford volunteers, the council collected 168 pairs of eyeglasses from parishioners for Third World Eye Care Society Canada, which aids poorsighted people in developing countries.
K of C Charities of Kentucky, and a dozen councils from Kentucky and Tennessee, united in support of Stewards of Appalachia, a group that provides for people in need in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky. By working with mission centers and offering sponsorships, donations and home improvement services, the councils assisted many people suffering in the economically depressed region. KEEPING COOL
After holding a variety of fundraisers, Pasco (Wash.) Council 1620 bought a three-door refrigerator, twodoor reach-in freezer and commercial-grade coffee brewer — collectively valued at $7,370 — for St. Patrick Catholic Parish’s remodeled kitchen.
Children at Ron Brent Elementary School survey coats, assisted by Vern Buchwald and Ernie Merz of Sacred Heart Council 8927. Through teamwork, the four councils of Prince George, British Columbia, managed to provide 300 coats to children in seven elementary schools and at two First Nations reserves.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N
total of $57,575 to area churches. The funds, originally slated for the construction of a council hall, instead went to support the ministries of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Gonor; Blessed Virgin Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Catholic Church in East Selkirk; and St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church in East Selkirk and its chaplaincy, Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Mission in Narol. The council will also be using its funds to provide annual grants that assist parishes with building upkeep. Members of Father William W. Finley Council 4374 in St. Paul, Minn., with family members and friends, assist the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver at their 20th annual plant sale. The sisters donated the proceeds to support the adoption of children from the historically oppressed Dalit caste in India.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
St. Ann’s Council 2853 in Fair Lawn, N.J., sponsored the pilgrimage of Father Bernard Disco, O.S.B., to the Holy Land. A young monk of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Manchester, N.H., Father Disco used the opportunity to pray for peace among people of all faiths and for Council 2853’s intentions. Upon his return, Father Disco said the pilgrimage brought him closer to Jesus’ life and teachings. TWO-PART DRIVE
Vicksburg (Miss.) Council 898 held a two-phased food drive at an area superstore, helping to stock local food pantries both before and after the holiday season. During both events, Knights set up collection tables at the store’s entrances. There, they collected nonperishable food items as students from St. Aloysius High School distributed 30 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
shopping lists of needed items to store customers. The council also accepted cash donations. Between the two drives, the council collected over 3,200 pounds of food and more than $1,600 in cash donations. YOUTH PROGRAM
Holy Name of Mary Council 4730 in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., donated $2,000 to the Croton Harmon Special Education Parent Teacher Association to fund an after-school program designed for special needs children in kindergarten through fourth grade at Carrie Tompkins Elementary School. The program, named Kids Club, will enable students to develop important social and communication skills in a small, supportive group setting. The council also earmarked $3,000 to make improvements to the gymnasium at Holy Name of Mary
Church, which is used by parishioners and the community. Funding for these donations was raised through a golf tournament that netted about $7,000. MANY GIFTS
Narol Council 6637 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, gave a
CHARITY TAKING FLIGHT
Florida District 85, with the help of Our Lady of Lourdes Council 10201 in Miami, Council 4998 in Homestead and Rev. G. Joseph La Jeunesse Assembly in Fort Collins, worked with Delta Air Lines and Elite Airline Laundry to redistribute used airline blankets to the homeless population. More than 4,000 blankets were given out to help people cope with unusually chilly weather.
Knights of District 14 in Ontario prepare to transport the fruits of a food drive. Six councils teamed up to collect at three grocery stores, bringing in a combined total of several tons of food, including 150 pounds of hamburger and over $1,500 in cash and food card donations. The food was given to the Dew Drop Inn, which serves over 200 meals every day to people in need.
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K N I G H T S I N AC T I O N LOOKING AHEAD
The Connecticut State Council sponsored its annual vocation poster contest for students in Catholic elementary and middle schools. The entries reflected the goal of the project, which was to encourage children to engage with the variety of future paths they might take in the life of the Church. The judging committee, which chose winners by age division, was made up of professed religious sisters and a priest.
sale of the council’s hall. The work will provide a space for the council to conduct meetings and house memorabilia accumulated over the past century. MAKING SPACE
Shower of Roses Council 4036 in Hopkins, Mich., offered its council hall for the local Michigan State Police Post annual family dinner. The event also included a fundraiser auction for the group’s “Shop With a Cop” program, which helps families in need.
A NEW HOME
Pensacola (Fla.) Council 778 made a donation of $130,000 to St. Paul Parish for the renovation and repair of its nursery building. The funds came from the
SOUP FOR SCHOLARS
MacGahan Council 1065 in New Lexington, Ohio, held a Soup Saturday at St. Bernard Parish in Corning. The offerings of chili, potato
Members of St. Peter Cuaming Council 16432 in Inabanga, Visayas, Philippines, clean up the vicinity of St. Peter Chapel in preparation for a Flores de Mayo celebration honoring the Blessed Virgin. The council offered flowers for the service and prepared a meal for the 50 attendees.
and pasta fagioli soups raised $276 to purchase school supplies for St. Rose of Lima Catholic School. SUPER SANDWICHES
Conshohocken (Pa.) Council 1603 ran a Big Game Hoagie Sale, raising more than $500 to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Colonial Neighborhood Council, which both provide food and clothing for the poor. AN OCEAN AWAY
Savanna Frazier, ultrasonographer at the Real Life Pregnancy Center in Guntersville, Ala., demonstrates the working of the machine to Brad Corbin of St. William’s Council 12618 in Guntersville. Together with the Pro-Life Committee of St. William Parish, the council raised $19,449. This and the matching grant from the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative enabled the pregnancy center to purchase its own ultrasound machine.
Bishop Coudert Council 6232 in Whitehorse, British Columbia, made several contributions to charitable projects in Malawi. First, the council donated $1,000 (matched by a council member) to purchase and install an electric water pump and to provide well maintenance at the Chisombezi Blind Deaf School. The council also provided soccer balls and donated $1,160 to replace a metal roof on an outpost Catholic Church in southern Malawi. Finally, the parishioners hand-made thousands of bricks to construct the
walls under the roof, creating a new place of worship. SUNDAY SERVICE
Father M. J. Monahan Council 4851 in Hollywood, Fla., embarked on a program in which they serve coffee and donuts after Sunday morning Masses at Annunciation Catholic Church in West Park. FAMILY SUPPORT
Twelve Apostles Council 5001 in Franklin Square, N.Y., prepares and serves meals at the Long Island Ronald McDonald House. The council also regularly purchases food supplies and requested items for the center, as well as gift cards for families.
kofc.org exclusive See more “Knights in Action” reports and photos at www.kofc.org/ knightsinaction
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P RO M OT I O NA L & G I F T I T E M S
K OF C ITEMS OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS IN THE UNITED STATES THE ENGLISH COMPANY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment 1-800-444-5632 • www.kofcsupplies.com
USA-Made Pocket T-Shirt This dark ash T-shirt is 90% preshrunk combed cotton and 10% polyester, with KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS on the front left-chest pocket. The back features the emblem of the Order in black. This T-shirt is made and decorated in the U.S. S-XL: $20, 2XL: $22, 3XL: $23, 4XL: $24
LYNCH AND KELLY INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-548-3890 • www.lynchkelly.com IN CANADA ROGER SAUVÉ INC. Official council and Fourth Degree equipment and officer robes 1-888-266-1211 • www.roger-sauve.com
J O I N T H E FAT H E R MCGIVNEY GUILD
Please enroll me in the Father McGivney Guild: NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE/PROVINCE ZIP/POSTAL CODE Complete this coupon and mail to: The Father McGivney Guild, 1 Columbus Plaza, New Haven, CT 06510-3326 or enroll online at: www.fathermcgivney.org
OFFICIAL JULY 1, 2017: To owners of Knights of Columbus insurance policies and persons responsible for payment of premiums on such policies: Notice is hereby given that in accordance with the provisions of Section 84 of the Laws of the Order, payment of insurance premiums due on a monthly basis to the Knights of Columbus by check made payable to Knights of Columbus and mailed to same at PO Box 1492, NEW HAVEN, CT 06506-1492, before the expiration of the grace period set forth in the policy. In Canada: Knights of Columbus, Place d’Armes Station, P.O. Box 220, Montreal, QC H2Y 3G7 ALL MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, EDITORIAL MATTER, AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SHOULD BE MAILED TO: COLUMBIA, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. REJECTED MATERIAL WILL BE RETURNED IF ACCOMPANIED BY A SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE AND RETURN POSTAGE. PURCHASED MATERIAL WILL NOT BE RETURNED. OPINIONS BY WRITERS ARE THEIR OWN AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. SUBSCRIPTION RATES — IN THE U.S.: 1 YEAR, $6; 2 YEARS, $11; 3 YEARS, $15. FOR OTHER COUNTRIES ADD $2 PER YEAR. EXCEPT FOR CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, PAYMENT IN U.S. CURRENCY ONLY. SEND ORDERS AND CHECKS TO: ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901.
COLUMBIA (ISSN 0010-1869/USPS #123-740) IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 1 COLUMBUS PLAZA, NEW HAVEN, CT 06510-3326. PHONE: 203-752-4000, www.kofc.org. PRODUCED IN USA. COPYRIGHT © 2015 BY KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT NEW HAVEN, CT AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO COLUMBIA, MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1670, NEW HAVEN, CT 06507-0901. CANADIAN POSTMASTER — PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 1473549. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, 50 MACINTOSH BOULEVARD, CONCORD, ONTARIO L4K 4P3 PHILIPPINES — FOR PHILIPPINES SECOND-CLASS MAIL AT THE MANILA CENTRAL POST OFFICE. SEND RETURN COPIES TO KCFAPI, FRATERNAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, PO BOX 1511, MANILA.
32 ♦ C O L U M B I A ♦
USA-Made Navy Flag Polo As a nod to United States craftsmanship and patriotism, wear this navy polo embroidered with the emblem of the Order on the left chest and U.S. flag on the right sleeve. This U.S.-made shirt is 6.2 oz., 100% preshrunk combed cotton pique with wood-tone buttons, 1x1 ribknit cuffs and side seams. M-XL: $45, 2XL: $47, 3XL: $48, 4XL: $49
Knights of Columbus Coffee Mug Start your day with this U.S.-made navy ceramic coffee mug with white “KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS” text. $8.50
Order these and other items online at:
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K N I G H T S O F C O LU MBU S
Building a better world one council at a time Every day, Knights all over the world are given opportunities to make a difference — whether through community service, raising money or prayer. We celebrate each and every Knight for his strength, his compassion and his dedication to building a better world.
Members of the Afghanistan Roundtable — sponsored by Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Council 11302 in Washington, D.C. — and other personnel deliver supplies to Missionaries of Charity sisters for their mission in the area. The roundtable collected clothes, toys, food, toiletries, backpacks and school supplies for the sisters’ work.
TO BE FEATURED HERE , SEND YOUR COUNCIL’ S “K NIGHTS IN A CTION ” PHOTO C OLUMBIA , 1 C OLUMBUS P LAZA , N EW H AVEN , CT 06510-3326 OR E - MAIL :
AS WELL AS ITS DESCRIPTION TO : KNIGHTSINACTION @ KOFC . ORG .
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PLEASE, DO ALL YOU CAN TO ENCOURAGE PRIESTLY AND RELIGIOUS VOCATIONS. YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
K E E P T H E FA I T H A L I V E
‘I HAVE HAD THE GRACE TO WALK WITH CHRIST.’
FATHER GONZALO SILLER Diocese of Fresno, Calif. St. Benedict (Ore.) Council 15595
Photo by Corky Miller
My family taught me that walking with Jesus means having an active faith in God. The Christian Brothers, whose school I attended with my brothers in Mexico, taught me the value of community life, friendship, hard work and the beauty of nature. The faith and values I received through them gave me the courage to say “yes” to God’s invitation to become a priest. I resisted this call at times, and had it not been for the faith and support of my family and friends, I would not be where I am today. Jesus has blessed me in this vocation through the support of my family, the Church and, in a special way, my brother Knights. In my ministry as a transitional deacon, I have had the grace to walk side by side with Christ, preaching, baptizing and blessing marriages. As a priest, I now also nourish God’s people through the sacraments of the Eucharist and reconciliation. God willing, through your prayers, many more men will receive the grace to follow Jesus on his priestly path.